Buyers Plan Luxury Repositioning After Hollywood Apartment Building Buy
Hotel developer and nightlife figure Adolfo Suaya has sold a recognizable Hollywood Boulevard apartment building to True Urban USA and JCI Development for $19.2M, Bisnow has learned.
The Hollywood Hillview apartments had gone on the market in 2019, with the seller hoping to fetch $25M, The Real Deal reported. In May 2020, the property returned to market with new representation targeting a sale price of $21M. The coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty it brought slowed down the process as many potential buyers sat on the sidelines, said Lee & Associates West LA’s Paul Brehme, who represented Suaya in the deal.
The property is also home to two nightlife businesses operated by Houston Hospitality, including the Dirty Laundry bar that shut down during the lockdown. Once June rolled around and businesses across the city and state began to reopen, the temperature changed and True Urban and JCI moved quickly, Brehme said.
It is True Urban and JCI Development’s first project in LA, but the partnership is in expansion mode and is on the lookout for more, said CityStreet Commercial President and founder Elan Kermani, who represented the buyers in the transaction. The buyers were initially considering converting the property to a hotel, Kermani said, but they decided instead to reposition the apartments into luxury-type units.
“They felt the synergy between what they were going to do upstairs and the ground-floor and basement projects [by Houston Hospitality],” Kermani said.
The property was 75% vacant at the close of escrow, which will make repositioning easier. The property is subject to the city's rent stabilization ordinance.
The Hollywood Hillview apartment building was built in 1917, according to marketing materials. It not only saw the heyday of Hollywood as a motion picture powerhouse but was built because of it. In the early studio days, actors were seen as undesirable tenants and often had difficulty finding housing. The Hillview apartment building was built by movie producer Jesse Lasky as Hollywood’s first apartment building specifically for actors who were the talent at local studios and is on the National Register of Historic Places, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Suaya has the 134-room Whisky Hotel under construction nearby at Wilcox just north of Hollywood Boulevard, Urbanize reports. The hotel will incorporate whiskey into events and will reportedly have a whiskey fountain.